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Slash5469
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[*] posted on 8-11-2010 at 12:32
Project


Hi everyone,

So i'm a chemistry student in France and i guess you could say i'm at the same level as a junior-senior year Chem Major in the States.

Now I have to present a project ( + a 10-20 page report) at the end of this year ( May-June) that has to do with a theme : "Movement" ( this is very broad, it can be anything from the study of a watch movement to organic chemistry)

This project has to show pretty good understanding of the subject chosen.

Now i was thinking about studying energetic materials, maybe more specifically explosives ( which therefore allow movement)

This would include a study of the theory ( why this type of molecule explodes etc), the synthesis of a molecule and an experiment.

So here's my question: Could you point me towards a ( potentially kick-ass) experiment that i could do with a molecule that could be synthesized ( ideally not too simply) and that would fit the description i made above??

Thanks for your insight!

PS: Bear in mind that all experiments / synth will be made on school grounds so you can get fancy on the chemicals since they'll be ordering them for me :)
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[*] posted on 8-11-2010 at 13:34


Quote: Originally posted by Slash5469  
Hi everyone,
Now I have to present a project ( + a 10-20 page report) at the end of this year ( May-June) that has to do with a theme : "Movement"

Now i was thinking about studying energetic materials, maybe
more specifically explosives ( which therefore allow movement)



MOVEMENT

An explosion may be defined as a loud noise accompanied by
the sudden going away of things from the places where they were
before.


Joseph Needham

Rauh-Werner
"An experiment with black powder for a stoichiometry theme."
Naturwiss. Unterr. Phys./Chem 28 P88-89 1980
Chemical Abstracts 93 50 45240


If you wanted to do a paper on the south end of peristalsis —
I could supply three good first person stories.
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[*] posted on 8-11-2010 at 13:49


Personally, I'd like to see a study on the effects of standoff distance on small explosively formed penetrators. I have seen YouTube videos of EFP's made from copper coins and as little as 8g of ETN. If you could reliably make identical concave bowls of copper sheet perhaps 15mm in diameter, you could no doubt construct several identical EFP devices small enough for "backyard" testing.

Furthermore, since your primary area of study is chemical engineering, you could potentially synthesize some sort of exotic energetic compound for the charge. Perhaps RDX/HMX? With these devices, you could shoot the EFP into thick wood blocks at varying standoff distances, then cut them open to measure total penetration.

It runs the gamut from chemistry to physics and certainly does involve a whole lot of movement. Fast movement.

____

A second suggestion, one geared more toward the chemical aspect of things, would be to synthesize a wide array of energetic compounds and study their power using a Trauzl lead block test. You could study the movement of the lead as it is displaced by the expanding gas of the explosion. However, this would involve the synthesis of significant quantities (I think the Trauzl uses 10g per test!) of explosive compounds and I'm not sure how well your school will receive that.

Anyway, those are my suggestions. Good luck on your project!

-DTM

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[*] posted on 8-11-2010 at 13:55


Quote:

If you wanted to do a paper on the south end of peristalsis —
I could supply three good first person stories.

Some of us are looking at the stars . . .

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[*] posted on 9-11-2010 at 00:07


Have you asked your teachers/tutors whether you can be allowed to synthesize energetic materials in the school labs? With all the fear of terrorism these days, it may not be easy to get permission.
And I am fairly certain you will not be allowed to detonate (and perhaps even store) anything.

I did a project on alternative methods of synthesizing HNIW and alternate nitration methods for NDBD (melt castable nitro-nitrate ester with performance identical to HMX) for my Masters dissertation, and it took quite some negotiating to get permission.
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[*] posted on 9-11-2010 at 09:00


Quote: Originally posted by Slash5469  
Hi everyone,

So i'm a chemistry student in France and i guess you could say i'm at the same level as a junior-senior year Chem Major in the States.

Now I have to present a project ( + a 10-20 page report) at the end of this year ( May-June) that has to do with a theme : "Movement" ( this is very broad, it can be anything from the study of a watch movement to organic chemistry)



I suffer from having a hard time believing your rasion for
choosing explosives, I would had used counter-current distillation
or some such. However, if it is an explosive you be wanting
doesn't get much more chemical simple than azoimide.

http://tinyurl.com/35ng5cl

I would be remiss if I didn't add —
.
Azoimide

Azoimide is a clear, colorless, mobile liquid, which boils without decomposition
at 37o. It is endowed with the same intolerable odor as the solution. Its most
characteristic property, however, is its frightful explodes in a most erratic
manner-- sometimes without, the least apparent provocation at the ordinary
temperature. Its distillation is an operation attended by great danger. Prof.
Curtius and his assistant have succeeded, as above described, in isolating it and
determining its boiling point several times; but upon other occasions, under
apparently the same conditions, the experiment has ended with a disastrous
explosion. When suddenly heated or touched with a hot body, it always
explodes. The explosion is accompanied by an intensely vivid blue flame. The
damage wrought by the explosion of very minute quantities is most surprising.
The thousandth part of a gramme, placed upon an iron plate and touched by a
hot glass rod, is sufficient to produce a loud detonation, and considerably distort
the iron plate. The twentieth part of a gramme was found sufficient to
completely pulverize Hofmann "density" apparatus, when an attempt was made
to determine it vapor density in the Torricellian vacuum at the ordinary
temperature. Upon another occasion, seven-tenths of a gramme, contained in a
closed glass tube, upon removal from the freezing mixture in which it had been
immersed exploded with such an immense force as to shatter every piece of
glass apparatus in the laboratory. It was upon this occasion that Prof. Curtius's
assistant [Dr. Radenhausen] was so seriously injured as to cause the temporary
abandonment of the work. The aqueous solution is almost as explosive as the
anhydrous liquid, the explosion of two cubic centimeters of a 27 per cent.
solution upon one occasion shattering the glass tube into dust so fine that Prof.
Curtius, who was attempting to seal it, escaped uninjured.


Azomide, N3H -- The New Sodium Salt -
The Most Highly Explosive Substance Known
Scientific American Supplement,
No. 836 January 9, 1892


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[*] posted on 9-11-2010 at 09:17


Azoimide is also known as hydrazoic acid.
The synthesis is trivial so would not qualify as anything like a school project.
Besides its explosive character it is also extremely toxic and volatile so no one in their right mind would let a school student or even an undergraduate prepare it.

Forgot the link;

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrazoic_acid

[Edited on 9-11-2010 by ScienceSquirrel]
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[*] posted on 9-11-2010 at 09:51


Ok first of all thanks everyone for the ideas!

I guess i should have explained a little more (/ better) was is expected of me. Although it is positive to have an experiment that goes along with the project. The main goal though is to explain and present the theory of something. So i need something interesting enough on that end.

After doing a little research, i was thinking of focusing on polymer based explosives.

Maybe doing the synth of a primary explosive that detonates when subject to mechanical shock or heat and then making the corresponding polymer one (i mean the polymer used as a binder), maybe for instance in an elastomer, and showing how it improves its stability concerning shock etc...

Any thoughts on that? More importantly do you know if such a thing can be realistically carried out? All the PMXs i read about are based on secondary explosives.
Is there maybe like a PMX based on nitroglycerin or something?

Also, i have "Organic chemistry of explosives" by Agrawal, and the classic "Chemistry of Powders and Explosives" by T.Davis. If any of you think there's another book i should check out that could help me in my research don't hesitate to point it to me :)

THanks again!



[Edited on 9-11-2010 by Slash5469]

[Edited on 9-11-2010 by Slash5469]
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[*] posted on 9-11-2010 at 16:36


Quote: Originally posted by ScienceSquirrel  
Azoimide is also known as hydrazoic acid.
The synthesis is trivial so would not qualify as anything like a school project.
Besides its explosive character it is also extremely toxic and volatile so no one in their right mind would let a school student or even an undergraduate prepare it.



Experimenting with hyrazoic acid could be an opportunity to be a martyr to science.


Lay eyeballs of this book —@ US $300 I suggest la library.

Energetic materials: particle processing and characterization
Ulrich Teipel
Wiley-VCH, 2005

This removed en bloc (En block was borrowed from the French by the English speaking medical profession) from Amazon.com.

Incorporation of particular components with specialized properties allows one to tailor the end product's properties. For instance, the sensitivity, burning behavior, thermal or mechanical properties or stability of energetic materials can be affected and even controllably varied through incorporation of such ingredients. This book examines particle technologies as applied to energetic materials such as propellants and explosives, thus filling a void in the literature on this subject.

Following an introduction covering general features of energetic materials, the first section of this book describes methods of manufacturing particulate energetic materials, including size reduction, crystallization, atomization, particle formation using supercritical fluids and microencapsulation, agglomeration phenomena, special considerations in mixing explosive particles and the production of nanoparticles. The second section discusses the characterization of particulate materials. Techniques and methods such as particle size analysis, morphology elucidation and the determination of chemical and thermal properties are presented. The wettability of powders and rheological behavior of suspensions and solids are also considered. Furthermore, methods of determining the performance of particular energetic materials are described.

Each chapter deals with fundamentals and application possibilities of the various methods presented, with particular emphasis on issues applicable to particulate energetic materials. The book is thus equally relevant for chemists, physicists, material scientists, chemical and mechanical engineers and anyone interested or engaged in particle processing and characterization technologies.
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[*] posted on 10-11-2010 at 02:44


If you want to do something really nice and interesting, then try to synthesize some potassium dinitramide, KN(NO2)2. This can be synthsized from HNO3 and potassium sulphamate. The interesting part of this synth is that it must be done at -30 C. Potassium sulphamate is easy, just neutralize a solution of sulphamic acid (agent for removing chalk from coffee machines, kettles etc.) with a solution of KOH or K2CO3 and evaporate to dryness. Next, the potassium sulphamate must be added to white fuming nitric acid at -30 C. Once you have isolated potassium dinitramide, then you'll see that this stuff is very stable and can be used as a safe energetic material (comparable to KClO4). You also can explain that. Also interesting for your report is elucidating on why potassium dinitramide only is discovered around 1980, it really is a novel chemical, which can be synthesized at a high school. Only common chemicals are needed. You might even consider making this project even more DIY by making fuming nitric acid yourself by means of distillation of a mix of conc. sulphuric acid and a nitrate or ordinary conc. nitric acid.

You can tell many interesting things about this. Why must the compound be made at -30 C? Why is the resulting compound so stable? What are the environmental benefits of using dinitramide as oxidizer in rocket fuel instead of KClO4?




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Want to wonder? Look at https://woelen.homescience.net
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[*] posted on 10-11-2010 at 11:42


Quote: Originally posted by Slash5469  

Now i was thinking about studying energetic materials, maybe
more specifically explosives ( which therefore allow movement)



Exploding billiard balls perhaps ...

Extracted from :--

Journal of the Society of Chemical Industry.
No. 5, Vol,. XXXIII. MARCH 16, 1914.
New York Section.
Meeting held at Rumford Hall, New York, on Friday, January 23rd, 1914.
Mr. C. W. THOMPSON IN THE CHAIR.
PRESENTATION OF THE PERKIN MEDAL TO Mr. JOHN WESLEY HYATT.
[I own over 300 pounds of the JSCI. You can read the article @ http://tinyurl.com/2enmh3s ]

At this meeting of the Now York Section of the Society of Chemical Industry, it is our
pleasant duty to award the Perkin medal to the person selected as most worthy
for valuable work done in applied chemistry………

What is the mental faculty which has made the recipients of the Perkin medal
what they are ? In what respect do these men differ from their fellow chemists, so
as to render them especially successful in the application of chemistry to the arts
........ in the case of Hyatt, who saw in the drop of dried collodion the possibility of
producing a plastic mass, which was finally obtained in celluloid.

Mr. JOHN WESLEY HYATT acknowledged the receipt of the medal in the
following words :—

From my earliest experiments in nitrocellulose, incited by accidentally finding a
dried bit of collodion the size and thickness of my thumb nail, and by my very
earnest efforts to find a substitute for ivory billiard balls……

Other seriously objectionable features became apparent. In order to secure
strength and beauty only colouring pigments were added, and in the least
quantity ; consequently a lighted cigar applied would at once result in a serious
flame, and occasionally the violent contact of the balls would produce a mild
explosion like a percussion guncap. We had a letter from a billiard saloon
proprietor in Colorado, mentioning this fact and saving he did not care so much
about it, but. that instantly every man 'n the room pulled a gun…..

My brother took some samples to the American Hard Rubber Company, with the
view of interesting them. They employed the late Professor Charles A. Seeley,
who had made collodion for the Government during the Civil War, to investigate
the matter. He came to our place in Albany, N.Y., and we conducted the whole
process for his inspection, very successfully. He remarked that he had come
prepared to detect some chicanery, but could see no deception, and expressed
himself as satisfied. He kindly advised us that if, accidentally or otherwise, we
were to apply a little too high temperature, the quantity we were dealing with
would inevitably destroy us with the building and adjacent property. While we did
not accept this as true, it was disturbing. The following day between 12 and 1,
when all were out, I rigged up a four-inch plank used as a vice-bench, braced it
between the floor and ceiling, between the hydraulic press and the hand pump,
intending it to shield me from possible harm. I then prepared the mould, heating it
to about 500 degrees Fahrenheit, knowing it would certainly ignite the
nitrocellulose and camphor, and would abide by the result. The gases hissed
sharply out through the joints of the mould, filling the room with the pungent
smoke. The mould, press, building and contents were there, including myself,
very glad that I did not know as much as the Professor………

-----------
Chance favours the prepared mind: 3
Chemistry in Action #31 Summer, 1990

Three discoveries from collodion

Collodion, a solution of cellulose nitrate in ether and alcohol, figures in at
least three accidental discoveries of industrial importance. The first successful
synthetic plastic was celluloid, which was originally made to replace ivory in
billiard balls. In 1863 a manufacturer of billiard balls offered a prize for a
successful substitute and two brothers, John Wesley and Isaiah Hyatt began
experimenting with various materials. John cut his finger white investigating
mixtures of paper and sawdust, bonded by glue. He went to the cupboard to put
some collodion on the wound, a popular treatment at that time. He found the
collodion bottle overturned, with its contents spilled leaving a hard sheet of
cellulose nitrate on the shelf. Hyatt realized that this might be a better binder than
glue for his paper and sawdust mixture. Several experiments later the Hyatt
brothers discovered that cellulose nitrate and camphor, mixed with alcohol and
heated under pressure made an ivory substitute. They didn't win the prize,
however, as their balls were apt to explode unexpectedly. But in 1870 they
patented their plastic under the name of "Celluloid" and it was used for plastic
collars and cuffs, knife handles, buttons etc.

An expl-ode to John Hyatt

Now John Hyatt's 'Wild West' billiard balls
Where the talk of the saloons and halls
When they hit the road
They were apt to explode
You can bet that they started some brawls
PEC
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[*] posted on 10-11-2010 at 12:02


You might be better off making a giant spud gun.
These use a variety of methods for firing whole potatoes and other missiles a considerable distance.
There are lots of pages on the web about them and the school might let you build one as they are pretty safe.
The chance of them letting you make an explosive is virtually nil I would say.
If there was an accident with it the French authorities would be down on them fast and hard.
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[*] posted on 5-8-2011 at 06:19


What about thermodynamics? The movement of heat, heat engines, convection currents, drinking bird device etc...
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[*] posted on 20-10-2011 at 04:05
Why do you not stick to the dynamics of EFP


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Explosively_formed_penetrator

Just like most of the shape charges you are probably going to see good effects out of the wide variety of easily produced 6-9 Km Sec Explosives, so why not stick to the physics/dynamics of forming projecting the penetrator.

The new series of cluster bomb or cruise missle dropped parachuted smart multi-antitank weapons would be interesting to study.

From what little I understand a group of these are deployed they designate and discriminate and individually appropriate targets amoungst themselves.

The parachuted devices are spinnning and see a conical target area they designate a target and then fire a downward EFP into their choice target. These are now using LADAR to designate targets.

Anyway just sticking to the basics like the stand off distance the tank armour (Canopy) to be penetrated and the size weight shape of the EFP (rod/cone/plasma) might prove to be very interesting, who knows you might work yourself into a career in weapons development should it interest you.

Here is a link to smart anti-tank weapons:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brilliant_Anti-Tank_(BAT)




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[*] posted on 20-10-2011 at 05:09


Discussing the expansion of gaseous or volatile components starting from confined spaces
may be a more appropriate subject matter for your project. A practical demonstration would
be a tennis ball cannon. Fun, fire and firepower but generally safe-ish.
All components can be bought from your local super market, sports and hardware stores.

If you are dead set on synthesis then I would suggest a study of nitration reactions,
nitrocellulose, 4-nitrotoluene, 2,4-dinitrotoluene are precursors to TNT (trinitrotoluene),
your Uni probably wont let you make TNT, but the others would be acceptable
(Nitrocellulose on a very small scale say a wad of cotton wool the size of your fist).
These have applications in other areas of synthetic chemistry and medicinal or
pharmaceutical chemistry as well.
The degree of nitration of toluenes is primarily through heating control and the associated
reaction kinetics. A very good project and lots of material in literature.

Happy hunting.




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[*] posted on 20-10-2011 at 06:07


Maybe You should try Diphoronepentaperoxide (DPPP)

It's made from the same chemicals as TATP: Acetone, H2O2 and HCl.
Theory.. HCl changes Acetone into Phorone (yellow green) and then into Pentachlorophorone which is an oily dark reddish liquid. When H2O2 is added the Cl2 is split away and is replaced by the (O2)5...

VoD =~ 9000m/s

http://www.sciencemadness.org/talk/viewthread.php?tid=179

[Edited on 20-10-2011 by Phantom]
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[*] posted on 21-10-2011 at 10:00


You could define the elemental differences of a propellant & an explosive, why they could be the same or differing materials & use historical agenda. Black powder could be a simple example. Alteration of nitric esters could be quite complex: depending on what your class requires. Obviously you would check w/ school and community guidelines. Yet in so far as receiving a good grade, the needed research could start historically and would be easy to find.



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